{ simple suiting }

6th April, 2011
i’ve never been an itsy-bitsy-bikini kind of gal ~ i find one-piece swimsuits to be much more elegant and comfortable. lately, i find myself most strongly drawn to classic black styles that recall an old-hollywood aura ~ think grace kelly or marilyn monroe on the riviera.
{ above: john rawlings for vogue, c. 1953 }

chic as the look can be, it’s still infuriatingly un-fun to shop for (especially when you wait until the last possible second and are in dire need, aka my usual routine) ~ which is why i’ve done a little pre-summer legwork for us all! here are my picks for the sweetest, simplest suits of the season:

{ top row: vitamin a spotted suit ($238), newport news side-lace suit ($59 ~ i put an order in for this one but have yet to test it out), lisa marie fernandez silver suit via kirna zabete ($385), white house black market ruffled v-neck ($78) // second row: threeasfour mesh-panel maillot via oak nyc ($222 ~ i picked this one up too and LOVE IT), juicy couture side-cinched suit ($164), spiegel corset-style suit ($15), cheap monday simple strapless suit ($52) }

then again, there are also a few totally on-trend, prada-spring 2011-approved, striped varietals currently catching my eye:

{ above: anthropologie bandeau ($144), tommy hilfiger striped maillot ($50), dkny one-shoulder suit ($108) }

finally, as far as coordinating cover-ups and accessories are concerned, i’m really loving:

{ missoni beach towel, classic panama hat (i bought mine last year at brimfield market, from the same guys who supply j.crew with their version), cheap monday dress via modcloth, j.crew leather capri sandals }

what’s your poolside strategy this season? or am i the only one shopping like it’s already summer?!

{ above: cyd charisse, c. 1954 }

  • I think one-pieces can really be so glamourous, too bad they don't love me back! I can see you rocvking that polka dot onesie!

    xx Vivian @ http://diamondsandtulle.blogspot.com

  • I absolutely love one-pieces! Those are some really beautiful ones too!


  • I was JUST looking at swimsuits on the anthro website! They have the most gorgeous black polka dot retro maillot that I think I'm gonna have to get for this summer…

  • I adore the one pieces, they are classic and forgiving of that burger I just ate 🙂

    Really loving the one from Oak NY, the bust looks well supported and somehow not matronly. (Big plus for a top heavy gal).

    Confessions of a Purse-a-holic

  • I love one-pieces, and had planned on buying one for this Summer, to be more forgiving than my two-piece for my post-pregnancy figure. However, the weather has cooled, and I took too long. My favourite styles are the 1950's inspired pieces (which my two-piece also is).

  • I keep looking at mod cloths one pieces, they are perfect!

    <3 Sarah

  • LOVE one pieces!! I think they are super sexy and leave a little to the imagination. Are these for your trip West!?!?


  • I decided I liked the lace-up one the best, and then I realized you ordered it. Good choice!


  • I love one piece swimsuits. They are so elegant and classic, just like the glamorous movie stars of days past. You are right on point, girlfriend! I'm loving that cover up dress. SO cute!

    i wander, i wonder

  • the dkny one shoulder is stunning :)))

  • It's already summer where I live so I've been on the look out for pieces. I'm not a bikini girl either and I like your cover up picks and I totally agree bathing suit shopping is the most frustrating of all.

  • I am a 1-piece kinda gal too, and I have a thing for pin-up style suits. I bought a blue and white polka dot suit from "My Baby Jo" last summer and am still obsessed with it! Flattering for all sizes: http://www.mybabyjo.com/One-Piece-Classic-Sheath-Retro-Dot-Black-3273.htm

  • I love the lisa marie fernandez silver suit. Thats def going on my wish list

  • Lauren

    Those two pictures are beautiful! I am definitely leaning toward a strapless one piece this summer.


  • ItÂŽs a beautiful style, I ÂŽm not sure I could wear it, but itÂŽs beautiful!!

  • absolutely stunning, gorgeous swimwear, loving one piece for this summer season


  • Very nice selection ;D


  • Love this post – I'm currently rocking the one-piece which is a saviour post lunch time burger…

  • I haven't decided yet which swimsuit will be mine for summer. I still have 2 months to decide!!
    Great post.

  • Anonymous

    HI Kelly,
    You're not alone to feel like this, I've bought yesterday a two pieces in black called "Audrey" ( in the style of Audrey Hepburn) ! Viva Glamour ! Viva Hollywood's Divas !
    I'm sure you'll look so beautiful in your new swim suit.
    Plein de bisous.

  • I love this post. Black one pieces are so classic and beautiful. I know you here it all the time, but I love the feel of your blog. Congrats on all the success. Hugs, Anne

  • If u want to partecipate:
    Jimmy Choo's Giveaway with Luisaviaroma: http://www.plusgfashionblog.com/2011/04/giveaway-with-luisaviaroma-jimmy-choos.html

  • absolutely agree with you. swimsuits look so much more elegant!


  • I kind of like the White House Black Market one. Throw on a wrap, and it's an outfit!

    Cyd Charisse was so gorgeous, too!

  • J

    Love the picture you choose, and i also love the swimsuit!

  • I've been wanting to invest in a one piece for quite some time. Thanks for sharing some of the research you've done!
    I really adore the Vitamin A spotted suit and the Spiegel corset style suit.

    much love.

  • the first picture is gorgeous


  • I love vintage style one pieces but get enraged whenever I look for them online since few do the one magic thing that worked so well in the past: the bottom should end just at your hips like a really tight and short mini skirt and continue behind so there is no cheek hanging out. It's so clean and sexy. Jansen does a decent vintage suit but if you have booty issues like me there is always a bit of butt hanging out. Which is why I had a suit custom made based on a vintage suit I found and a Norma Kamali suit I couldn't afford. Best $100 I ever spent.

  • I ADORE my Anthopologie Natalie one-piece. I have last season's black suit, but they now have a polka dotted version. That's what I was searching for last year! Maybe I'll end up with that suit before the season is over. 🙂

    See it here: http://bit.ly/fVxo5h

  • i always love a sexy one piece. these are all great options. i am an itsy bitsy bikini girl but i like to rock both!


  • i agree with you, i have never been a bikini girl. i prefer a retro inspired 1 piece. i have a black 50's inspired suit and a bright yellow vintage swimsuit that i can't wait to wear!
    i am seeking out poolside accessories, though- floppy hat and a light-weight coverup!

  • so gorgeous. i've never been one for the one-piece, but this post makes me reconsider!



  • I really dislike swimsuit shopping…great post, I love the cheap monday cover-up 🙂

    xoXo-Kelli K

  • I think one piece bathing suits are so much more glamourous! I have a vintage inspired one that I love.

    In Fashion and Style

  • Ohh.SUMMER!!

    mfashionfreak.blogspot.com – please follow.

  • These are soo pretty, definately glamorous. But being from Miami, I need my small bathing suits to get a nice tan 🙂


  • I usually wear a two-piece because working on my tan is my part time job in the summer, but I just found the cutest one piece thrifting that I can not wait to debut poolside.

  • Hilary Inspired

    You're definitely not the only one dreaming of summer! I have always been a big fan of the classic one-piece…can't wait to make my seasonal selection!

  • Cyd Charisse! I love her look … she always looked so. incredibly. classy. And those legs!

  • I love these pictures, and I love your suit picks! So lovely. xx


  • Nice post! Love the suits!

  • Gorgeous I can't wait till it's warm.


  • Kat

    i love that black cover up. so amazing. i just saw you on a feature for yahoo shine! love your blog


  • I love vintage swimsuits but i never get to wear them since i don't like to go to the beach…

  • I love those suits. And that coverup is stunning. I'm definitely a one-piece kind of girl. Definitely agree that they're more glamorous and comfortable.

    I may not be shopping like it's summer, but I'm definitely dieting like it is! Gotta get back in shape!!

    Coffee & Inspiration

  • I just bought a Tommy Bahama dark navy one piece that I took on vacation with me. I loved it. Though one pieces are hard for me since they never seem to fit right.

  • Amy

    Lovely, lovely, but I think it's high time for another outfit post. Don't you?

  • love these classic beauty inspirations… never owned a swimsuit like this but kinda want one now!!!

  • I totally LOVE that you're featuring one-piece suits. I am 27 and am so done with bikinis! I am adoring that Tommy Hilfiger one!

  • LOVE THE RETRO SWIMWEAR! Your blog is my absolute favorite!


  • Nah, I've been planning my summer outfits pretty much since summer began!


  • love those bathing suits! such a great classic vibe!


  • I'm obsessed with these photos. I love vintage bathing suits!



  • I am with you. I love a one piece I like that retro cool vintage vibe!

  • LOVE the Vitamin A bathing suit!!


  • Nvs

    can't wait for summer these swimsuit are very cute and sexy even thought they have that old vintage feel to them…

  • one piece suits dont work with me very well. neither do teeny-weeny bikinis. i love a meet in the middle.
    and as far as it being too soon for summer shopping, i live in south florida. i've been at the pool or the beach almost daily since march began.

  • Honestly, I try to find the cheapest bikinis I can via Target or Victoria's Secret. It's all about the prints for me. And these places usually have really cute prints. However, you are making me like the polka dot one from Vitamin and the striped one shoulder from DKNY.

  • Fabulous advice and suit choices. Basic black has always been my poolside go-to. Well, basic black is perhaps always my go-to, but I never tire of it.

  • Style preceded fashion those days. And the fashion photography, I prefer it so many time more than today's one. The Anthropologie bandeau is my favourite.

  • I've always thought one-piece suits look elegant and with the right accessories, glamours. Yet, I still dont own one. Maybe I should think about that this year….I"m more of a bikini type gal.


  • omg so beautiful

    check out my photo diary pt. 1 and promo code for jollymay @

  • how glamorous! i love the striped tommy hilfiger suit! hopefully when i get to try it on i will still love it, ha!


  • I'm looking for a 50's look too but more in the bikini style. Except minus the itsybitsy bottoms. I like the ones thatgo super high up and the 50's style tops for a more vintage and a little more conservative look. I love the black sheer cover up too-I'll have to look into something like that!

  • taa

    In 5 days I am going in Milano

    Hope to buy there 2 greatest swimming suits
    one with polka dots
    and another leopard print 🙂

  • Ash

    Believe me, you're not the only one who's frustrating at shopping for one pieces… and I'm in California right now, it's summer year round!

    Jill sans Jack

  • I actually own a few two pieces and a black one piece that hasn't gotten much love but things will change this summer. I can really see me in the Juicy Couture one. I'm always looking to buy myself a Mother's Day gift.

  • Just a heads up, I bought those sandals last year from J.Crew and was really bummed. They looked terrible after just a month.

    Unless they've changed the production method (I doubt they have) anyone buying them should know the black color rubs off the soles really fast. The store was kind and took them back even without a receipt (I didn't imagine there would be a problem so I threw it out) and let me cash in the credit for other merch.

    But I wish that I could find the same sandal in proper quality! It's so minimalistic and exactly what I need for summer.

  • fyi
  • Kelly! I have a stylist challenge! I love one pieces but can rarely fit them because I have a longer than average torso…. the boob parts only go up to my solar plexus! Lol the only place I've found that has long torso sizes is delias but I'm not trying to wear a swimsuit designed for a tween…. seriously, can you help? HELLLLPPPP! many thanks!

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TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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